A group of sisters and postulants from Sisters of Life in the Bronx, New York are seen during Mass at St. Rose of Lima’s Catholic church in Jay Thursday evening, July 8. At center front is Sister Mariae Agnus Dei, postulant director for the convent. Prior to taking her vows she was Rachel Yates of Wilton. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

JAY — Over the weekend a group of sisters and postulants from the Roman Catholic Sisters of Life convent in The Bronx, New York visited the area.

The Postulant Director, Sister Mariae Agnus Dei graduated from Mt. Blue High School and lived in Wilton as Rachel Yates prior to taking her vows.

While here, the group met with parishioners throughout the region, participated in a women’s retreat and spoke at masses.

“There are six sisters and six postulants, 12 of us — just like the disciples,” Sister Agnus said Thursday evening, July 8.

Sister Mariae Agnus Dei, seen at left during a Mass in Jay, is postulant director for Sisters of Life. Sisters and postulants visited the area over the weekend to host a women’s retreat, speak of their work and share their faith. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

The group arrived at the St. Rose of Lima church in Jay earlier that afternoon. Father Paul Dumais gave them a tour of the church facilities after which they traveled to Farmington to pick strawberries at Pike’s before the rain started.

Plans to help on a Livemore farm Friday would be dependent on the weather, Agnus said. Visits with parishioners and being helpful in the local area were also planned, she said.


Catholic sisters devote their lives to God and profess vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

“As Sisters of Life, we have a special fourth vow to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life,” Agnus said. “We believe in the beauty and sacred dignity of each person, created in the image and likeness of God. With this, our time in Maine will be one of prayer, presence and sharing about God’s profound love for every person.”

Saturday they would host Day for Women, a retreat open to the state.

“There are 85 pre-registered and we’re expecting walk-ins,” Dumais said.

There could be more than 100, that’s great, Agnus noted.

“The day of recollection for women will be a time where women can come and simply rest in, and be renewed in God’s love,” she said. “The sisters will give talks on the beauty and dignity of women, God’s merciful love and prayer. There will be time for fellowship and special times of prayer. It will be a day simply to be present to God’s grace and love and share the gift of faith with one another.”


Father Paul Dumais is seen during a Mass in Jay Thursday evening, July 8, for sisters and postulants from Sisters of Life, a convent in The Bronx, New York. The group hosted a women’s retreat at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Jay Saturday. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

The sisters also planned to speak at the Masses of St. Rose and St. Joseph’s parish throughout the weekend, and share fellowship with the faith community of these parishes and and others throughout the weekend, Agnus said.

Sisters of Life serves in many ways.

“We walk with and support thousands of women each year facing unexpected pregnancies, have a retreat center that welcomes thousands each year for weekend retreat and days of recollection, accompany young people on college campuses, walk with women and men who come to us seeking healing after the experience of abortion and travel throughout the country and world in works of evangelization towards revealing the sacred dignity of each person,” Agnus said. “The convent in the Bronx, St. Frances de Chantal Convent, hosts both missions of evangelization and formation.”

Agnus has served as postulant director for five years.

“I have the joy of accompanying the youngest members of our community through the first year of their religious lives,” she said. “I have the blessing of teaching them all about what it means to be a Sister of Life and a consecrated religious. This involves spiritual accompaniment, teaching classes, and fostering an environment of learning, discernment, and freedom to find the Lord’s lead of love in each of their lives. It is a tremendous gift to serve in this way.

“I currently live in the Bronx and have had the joy of serving in many places and missions of the Sisters of Life,” Agnus continued. “This has included serving vulnerable pregnant women in New York City, walking with women seeking healing after abortion, welcoming pregnant women to live with us in our convent in New York City and serving various works of evangelization.”


Prior to giving her life to God, Agnus was a nurse working in an intensive care unit.

“In God’s special plans of love for my life and vocation, He inscribed a very special love in my heart for the beauty and gift of every human life,” she noted. “The charism of life is a special gift of grace God has entrusted to the Sisters of Life to serve and proclaim through works of prayer, presence and service. As I followed God’s lead of love in my life, I found myself at home with the Sisters of Life. I have been a Sister of Life for 14 years and it gets better every day. I am so grateful for the gift of this special call to love and be loved.”

Being with the good people of Maine is a special joy for us, Agnus said.

“We will be praying in a special way that those of this great state come to know how deeply loved they are by God and find renewed courage to give the unique gift of love they have been given,” she added.

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